Pride And Prejudice

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Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have five unmarried daughters, and Mrs. Bennet is especially eager to find suitable husbands for them. When the rich single gentlemen Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy come to  The Gayest Comedy Hit of the Screen! Five Gorgeous Beauties on a Mad-Cap Manhunt! With the Stars of “Mr. Chips” and “Rebecca”…and a Superb Cast!

ACTORS :  Greer Garson, Laurence Olivier, Mary Boland

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1940

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Pride And Prejudice  Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have five unmarried daughters, and Mrs. Bennet is especially eager to find suitable husbands for them. When the rich single gentlemen Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy come to live nearby, the Bennets have high hopes. But pride, prejudice, and misunderstandings all combine to complicate their relationships and to make happiness difficult.

Wonderful for its time

Pride And Prejudice  Is the 1995 television version superior? Yes – every historical period is better recreated since Stanley Kubrick took up the reins with Barry Lyndon in the mid 1970s. Lighting, dress, authentic settings, more faithful adaptations – though not better acting. In the last thirty years, we’ve been treated to the re-making of all that Hollywood and television had adapted from much of Thackeray, Austen, Balzac, Dickens, Eliot, Hardy, James, Wharton, Twain, Zola, DeMaupassant, even Leopardi. and in virtually every case, the movies are more faithful to their books, the spirit better represented.

Why? I think because movies and television have been more segmented. In 1940, Hollywood was appealing to everyone attending their weekly movies – from the 8 year old girl to the 60 year old man, from the miner to the mine owner, banker and sewer worker. In America alone, 90 million people attended the movies EACH WEEK in the early 1940s. As a result, Hollywood felt it had to appeal to all – and that some aspects of classics could be made more palatable in making them more mainstream.

“Horrors” say the purists. Well, I don’t think so – but yes I do prefer the more recent version (of everything).

And yet this is a delightful, charming, humorous, moving film. Greer Garson and Maureen O’Sullivan, Laurence Olivier, Frieda Inescourt (what a voice!), Edna May Oliver, Gwenn and all the rest of the cast are fun, great fun to watch.

In watching this movie, you’re watching Hollywood at its top at the time – the same studio that produced the Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind in the years immediately preceding this. And you get to see the glowing Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier.

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